Thursday, December 12, 2013
Out this afternoon in the clear cold mountain air, after a morning of uncertain rain that happy-ended with another of those perfect mountain-to-lake rainbows in full dayglow color that spoil us rotten out here-- another typical day in the mountains.
I was out in such a day with the big bamboo rake, intending to pull the tattered fragments of temporary firewood-cover plastic sheeting that had been blown off, stomped on, torn to tatters and tossed up into the plum tree by one of those the histrionic winds we get up here, that stormed through around dusk yesterday while I was in a big city office with no rainbow.
As soon as I opened the door to the deck I sensed that Crow had been waiting for me on his perch in the top of the big cedar out front, where he hangs out when he's got issues. Which is always. Sure enough, he was mumbling up there already, starting off on a grumbly string of tirades as soon as I came out and grabbed the big rake from where it was leaning against the deck rail, a procedure that clearly meant action on my part.
Crow hates action on my part. He's on my case whenever I start doing something outside, where he always lives and thinks he owns. When I began to walk down the steps from the deck, clearly with some intent or other - doesn't matter what - he started in, loud enough to make me think of earplugs, saying things like: "What the hell ya doin now, walker?" "Where ya goin down there?" "And what's with that rake, you gonna fix somethin?" "You think you own this place?" (jumping up and down on his branch) "You got no rights here, pal, I own all this!!" (I'm paraphrasing and editing here, for brevity and cultural clarity.)
The irony of Crow talking about rights was not lost on me. As I walked over onto the adjoining property (that really gets his darkness going), over which extended the plum tree branches that had caught most of the wind's plastic vandalism, Crow flapped all huffy over to the top of the utility pole right on the roadside there so he could be closer to whatever I was doing to his stuff, get a better look from an open platform, big beak yakkin the while. "Hey what are you doin over here, this ain't yer property either, it's mine! What the hell you up to now? You can't fool me, walker! I got my eye on you!" (Still paraphrasing; not that much nuance in Caw.)
As I reached up with the rake and began to pull down the nastily entangled ugly plastic fragments from the branches, i.e., actually doing something to achieve an objective, Crow hit the ceiling, so to speak. In an attempt to drown him out even just a bit, I started talking back (I often look like I'm talking to myself, but sometimes I'm not): "I only used this sheeting in a pinch, to cover the firewood; originally, I got it to make garden tunnels for early planting, but the monkeys made a mess of it (no real need to paraphrase here, this is pretty much word-for-word), so it's been sitting unused in the shed, and I--" "Hey, why am I explaining to you, Crow? You don't give a damn about plastic or monkeys!" "You don't own this property anyway! I own that property there, and I own this plum tree too; you don't, you're just full of caws!"
As I went on talking loudly, wrestling down the plastic and getting all the fragments into a bundle, something I said must've hit a nerve 'cause Crow took off in a big dark huff and flapped on down toward the Lake, I could hear him yelling for a long way; folks in the village were gonna get an earful.
It's a lot quieter up here now without a crow, and the plum tree looks a lot better without that plastic sheeting all up in it.
My plum tree.
On my property.
I do stuff here.